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2023  |  2022  |  2021  |  2020  |  2019  |  2018  |  2017  |  2016  |  2015  |  2014  |  2013  |  2012  |  2011

Singapore and Vietnam enter new phase of relations

Vietnam Investment Review

Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, will pay an official visit to Vietnam this week. Tan See Leng, Singapore’s Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry, writes about how both economies can bring their economic ties to greater heights.

Singapore and Vietnam are among the top three startup ecosystems in Southeast Asia. With our common goal of driving further economic growth through technology and innovation, there is scope for us both to tap on each other’s innovation ecosystems for partners, funding, and talent. Our collaboration in innovation has gained momentum through BLOCK71 in Ho Chi Minh City, a collaboration between the National University of Singapore and Vietnam’s Becamex IDC, which is currently home to more than 1,000 startups, incubators, and accelerators.

There is also the Global Innovation Alliance node in the same city, where Enterprise Singapore partnered with the Saigon Innovation Hub and Quest Ventures to facilitate startup exchanges between both countries.


Cebu magnates urged to invest in startups


IN THE high stakes arena of startup investment, a seasoned angel investor and a venture capitalist told Cebu business leaders and entrepreneurs not to be afraid of taking risks and to go bold on investing in startups with promising products or services seen to have high demand and potential.

These advantages have an upper hand to steer the success for any startup ecosystem, Joseph de Leon of Manila Angel Investors Network (Main) and James Tan of Quest Venture said during the second day of the “Innovation and Technology: Summit and Expo” organized by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry as part the months-long celebration of Cebu Business Months 2023 on Friday, Aug. 18, 2023, at the SM Seaside City Cebu.

Tan is the founder and managing partner at Quest Ventures, a pioneering venture capital fund in Asia based in Singapore centering on technological advances, while de Leon is a founding Member of Main.


Inaugural iGnite Award 2023: Empowering the next generation of NUS-affiliated impact start-ups

NUS News

A start-up catalysing waste reduction for positive sustainability impact. An innovative venture that manufactures body-assistive apparel using patented fabric-based air-spring technology to reduce muscle effort and potential injury when doing physical work. A research-based company that collects and transforms organic waste from farmers into an array of sustainable alternative materials.

These were the NUS-affiliated start-ups recognised for making significant environmental, social or sustainability-related impacts at the iGnite Award, organised by Alpha JWC Ventures in partnership with NUS Enterprise. The iGnite Award is the flagship start-up support programme of Alpha JWC Ventures, designed to nurture the next generation of impact-driven founders. Through their partnership with NUS, the award now extends its support to recognise and empower promising early-stage impact start-ups affiliated with NUS, enabling them to create a lasting positive impact on communities.

… six start-ups advanced to the grand finals on 26 July 2023, where they presented their transformative solutions to a distinguished panel of judges representing pioneers in the start-up space: Mr Brian Koh, Director of Ecosystem Development, NUS Enterprise; Mr Jefrey Joe, Managing Partner, Alpha JWC Ventures; and Mr James Tan, Chairman, Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE).


Walking the talk with food waste

The Business Times

The startup he is CEO of, treatsure, has matured in tandem. By the company’s estimates, the platform has collectively saved 50 tonnes of food from waste and reached 80,000 users locally.

From its initial “buffet-in-a-box” concept that enabled users to pay for a box of excess food from hotel buffets, the app ventured into surplus grocery distribution, and now runs a concept store in the middle of the central business district that offers a range of sustainability experiences and education.

But at its core, little has changed, said Wong, now 34. “Our mission is still to get everyone to treat food as treasure.”

This steady growth has affirmed their choice to tackle food waste via a sustainable business model that offers consumers and businesses alike incentives, rather than one that relies on donations or goodwill offerings.

So far, treatsure has raised funding from venture capital firm Quest Ventures and raiSE Singapore. It is actively pitching for a new round of investors.

“In this part of the world, we’ve seen less funding going towards tech startups in the food waste sustainability space. The focus has traditionally been on agritech, alternative protein and vertical farms,” said Wong.



Lianhe Zaobao




我们在那里在三年内,投资了30多家公司,是投最多公司 的风投。加上其他风投的投资项目,有足够的量吸引投资成熟 项目的资金进来。


Keynote Speech by 2M Tan See Leng at the 7th Singapore Regional Business Forum (SRBF)

Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore

Singapore and Vietnam are among the top three start-up eco-systems in Southeast Asia. With our common goal of driving further economic growth through technology and innovation, there is scope for Singapore and Vietnam to tap on each other’s innovation eco-systems for partners, funding and talent.

Our collaboration in innovation has gained momentum through (i) BLOCK71 Saigon, a joint collaboration between the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Vietnam’s Becamex IDC, which is home to more than 1,000 startups, incubators, and accelerators since 2011; and (ii) the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) node in Ho Chi Minh City, where Enterprise Singapore partnered Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB) and Quest Ventures to facilitate start-up exchanges between both countries.

In December 2022, Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry and Vietnam’s National Innovation Centre (NIC) signed an Innovation Work Group MOU to connect innovation eco-systems between Singapore and Vietnam. I am happy to see that NIC is signing MOUs with several Singapore Institutes of Higher Learning and corporates like UOB and Keppel later to foster closer partnerships between both sides.


Quest Ventures-backed ApartX raises $250,000 in oversubscribed Series Seed round

TechNode Global

ApartX, a Quest Ventures-backed property technology startup focused on rental property management, has on Wednesday announced that it had secured seed funding of $250,000 from Kazakhstan-based Big Sky Capital and Activat VC.

The seed funding will be used to drive talent acquisition, improve platform functionality, and expansion into new regions such as Southeast Asia, ApartX said in a statement.

Prior to this round of funding, ApartX was backed by Singapore-based venture capital firm Quest Ventures as part of the world-class Kazakhstan Digital Accelerator which was managed in conjunction with Qazakhstan Investment Corporation, the sovereign wealth fund of Kazakhstan.

“We are delighted with the results that ApartX has seen in Central Asia and look forward to supporting its continued growth,” said James Tan, Managing Partner at Quest Ventures.


Southeast Asia’s digital economy may be set to hit $1 trillion, but roadblocks remain


Southeast Asia’s digital economy has plenty of growth potential, backed by strong fundamentals including over 460 million digital consumers, young and tech-savvy populations, as well as rising internet penetration.

The digital economy across six countries within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations bloc — known as ASEAN-6 and comprising Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam — is projected to grow 6% annually.

“Regulations often lag behind innovation and there has to be new, effective laws to areas like data and privacy protection as the landscape evolves,” said James Tan, managing partner at Singapore-based venture capital firm Quest Ventures.


起步台:Fefifo——设立共享农场 让更多人当小农户

Lianhe Zaobao



Fefifo至今共筹集了310万美元(414万新元),投资者包括本地创投公司求索创投(Quest Ventures)、马来西亚RHL Ventures,以及韩国KB Investment等。公司也正展开新一轮的700万美元集资。这笔资金将有助于公司扩展他们在马来西亚的共享农场与数码化农业合同的商业产品,并进入印度尼西亚市场。


Homa2U secures funding for regional expansion

New Straits Times

HOMA2U, a Malaysian online marketplace for home improvement and interior design supplies, revealed that it has secured US$875,000 (RM 3.87 million) in its pre-series A funding.

The investment round was led by Quest Ventures Asia Fund II, an early-stage venture capital fund managed by Quest Ventures Pte Ltd, a leading Singapore-based venture capital firm. This is Quest Ventures Asia Fund II’s second cheque for Homa2U.

Worldwide Management Solutions and Qhazanah Sabah Berhad (QSB) are also participants in the investment round.

The construction and renovation industry is quickly adopting circular economy concepts that emphasise sustainability standards and optimal usage of natural resources.

By integrating environmentally friendly practices and social responsibility into their business offerings, Homa2U hopes to set new standards in design and sustainability, helping more individuals and businesses bolster strategies to achieve net zero carbon emission targets.


He Took His Last Company Public And Now Invested In 4 Of The Biggest Startup Unicorns In Asia

Alejandro Cremades

James Tan has gone from startup founder to operating an $80M venture capital fund to fuel the growth of other early-stage ventures today. Now on his third fund, he’s already helped create four unicorn companies.

On the Dealmakers Podcast, Tan talks about being on both sides of the table, investing in over a hundred companies, building marketplace businesses, network effects, being ruthless when going against the competition, and as an entrepreneur.

Plus, going public, when you need to exit your company, and what he is looking to fund now.

After successfully launching and exiting his first company, James Tan went on to take his second venture public on the NASDAQ.

Going public and especially listing on the NASDAQ may well be the big dream of many entrepreneurs. Though for James, it was also very much about seeing the right timing to exit your company and move on.

He says that “many entrepreneurs fail to understand that there is a window of opportunity when the industry that you’re in and the company that you’re doing can be well understood and well covered by the market at large.”


Malaysia’s HOMA2U secures $875,000 funding from Singapore-based Quest Ventures

TechNode Global

HOMA Sdn Bhd (HOMA2U), a Malaysian marketplace for renovation and interior design materials, announced Tuesday that it secured $875,000 in its pre-series A funding.

HOMA2U said in a statement that the investment round was led by Quest Ventures Asia Fund II, an early-stage venture capital fund managed by Quest Ventures Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based venture capital firm.

HOMA2U will also channel the funds to help more people amplify their commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) sustainability as well as help them meet their ESG goals through their Yellow Boxes and online platform.

HOMA2U is working towards growing the business threefold and will be concentrating its efforts on opening a total of 18 Yellow Boxes throughout Malaysia and Singapore.


How Partipost grew its influencer marketing platform in Asia and how it now works with media agencies

Campaign Asia

Co-founded by Jonathan Eg, Tony Jen and Benyamin Ramli in Singapore in 2016, Partipost launched its mobile app in 2018 and quickly began doubling and tripling its influencer userbase every month, attracting the attention of financial backers like SPH Ventures and Quest Ventures.

From its early operations in Singapore, Taiwan, and Indonesia, it quickly expanded into six markets, including Malaysia, the Philippines and Hong Kong, and will expand to Thailand and Vietnam in a few months.


瑞信170亿美元AT1债券归零 本地不少投资者本金泡汤


瑞士信贷银行价值170亿美元的额外一级资本(Additional Tier 1,简称AT1)债券减记归零,本地不少投资者本金无归,担心更多此类债券会面对同样风险。


本地创投公司求索创投(Quest Ventures)合伙人佘庭瀚也表示,身边不少人投资了各银行的AT1债券,多数人认为这是安全的产品,但现在不少人宁可脱售这类债券蒙亏,也不要承担本金无归的风险。


AT1债券也称为应急可转债(Contingent convertible bond,简称CoCo债券),当银行资本水平低于一定程度时可以被转换为股票,甚至可以减记作为缓冲,不同AT1债券的条款各异。一般上瑞士的银行债券包括减记条款,法国和英国银行一般采用转换股票。


At least seven regional VCs made their first investment in the Philippines in 2022


At least seven regional venture capital firms entered the Philippines in 2022, validating the ripeness of the local startup ecosystem, according to a report jointly released by early-stage VC Foxmont Capital Partners and Boston Consulting Group.

According to the Philippine Venture Capital Report 2023, Do Ventures, Reefknot Investments, Alpha JWC Ventures, East Ventures, TNB Aura, Quest Ventures, and January Capital explored the country’s potential by investing in local startups for the first time last year.

… while Quest Ventures led the $3-million Series A funding in cloud kitchen startup Kraver’s Canteen.


硅谷银行倒闭对本地起步公司影响不大 业界人士:今后要更谨慎管理现金


本地创投公司求索创投(Quest Ventures)合伙人佘庭瀚指出,这一事件给起步公司敲响警钟,存在银行的钱不一定安全,每一家银行存款获保障的数额有限,公司或需要超过一个现金户头。

为起步公司和风险创投公司提供服务的美国硅谷银行(Silicon Valley Bank)倒闭,风险创投圈内人士表示,美国政府介入减轻整体冲击,东南亚和本地起步公司所受的影响不大,但接下来预计会有进一步的后续影响。

这一事件也给起步公司敲响警钟 — 要谨慎管理现金。


专家:硅谷银行倒闭对本地起步公司影响不大 财务策略应多元化




不过,创业行动社群(ACE)主席兼求索创投(Quest Ventures)合伙人陈中表示,本地的起步公司很少数是硅谷银行的客户,因此这起事件对我国来说不会造成太大影响。



Quest Ventures: Southeast Asia’s Top Venture Capital Firm


Quest Ventures is a top venture capital firm that provides funding and acceleration to a myriad of startups, among the most notable of which are Carousell, Carro, and Shopback. Quest Ventures is also the first venture capital firm in Asia to roll out a multi-dimensional environment, social and governance strategy that supports a range of social good initiatives within the region. With this, join me in learning more about Quest Ventures with its Founder and Managing Partner, James Tan.

What are the most impactful achievements that Quest Ventures has accomplished?

There was a period that catapulted our firm – that was when I returned to Singapore from Beijing in 2017 to look at how we can capitalize new funds to tap into new opportunities. We discovered new promising sectors and moved into them quickly. Another achievement would be that we rolled out new partnerships so that we could scale the impact we were having. One project that we are very proud of is the Sustainable Impact Accelerator.

Where do you see Quest Ventures in the next 5-10 years?

We are always reinventing ourselves to ensure that we stay relevant. In the next 5-10 years, we will launch new funds to expand into rising sectors in Southeast Asia and beyond.


Under the Radar: The company behind startups’ first investment cheque – conversation with Quest Ventures on its “digital economy” strategy, helping MNCs drive corporate transformation, Opportunities in VC scene, Investment in smart electric motorbike ION Mobility

Money FM 89.3

Ever wondered which are the companies who give startups their first investment cheque? Well, our guest for today Quest Ventures is one such company.

The Venture Capital firm, which was founded in 2011, is a leading venture capital firm in areas such as artificial intelligence, e-commerce and marketplaces, entertainment, finance and even food. It’s also invested in a number of well-known companies such as, Carousell, Shopback and Hepmil.

But what exactly does the company look out for when it comes to investing? How does it assess the business environment it lies in, and what are some of its recent investments?

On Under the Radar, Drive Time’s finance presenter Chua Tian Tian sat down with James Tan, Managing Partner, Quest Ventures for more.


Singapore’s digital banks dangle incentives to win new customers — is it sustainable?


SINGAPORE — Digital retail banks in Singapore are pulling out all stops to win new customers.

Trust Bank and GXS Bank — two online retail banks launched last year — are offering lower fees, more incentives and waiving minimum account balances to win over customers from traditional banks.

Observers have previously raised questions about the need for digital banks in a largely banked population, where only 2% do not have bank accounts.

There’s also strong competition among the more established traditional banks.

“If you look at DBS Bank, it’s not like their digital offerings are [lousy],” said James Tan, managing partner of Quest Ventures, a VC company headquartered in Singapore.

Tan said he signed up for Trust Bank to see how different it will be to traditional banks. “I found no difference,” he told CNBC, adding that he eventually closed his Trust Bank account.

“I think the digital banks would have a higher rate of success if we were in a severely underbanked place like the Philippines,” said Tan.


‘The worst is over’: Tech investors are bullish on investing in China again


“If there’s any caution, it will be because of the potential of new Covid strains and not potential government crackdown or regulatory constraints because that was already happening before Covid,” said James Tan, managing partner at Singapore-based Quest Ventures.

Quest Ventures’ Tan said what happened in China highlights the importance of diversification.

For example, iPhone maker Apple is diversifying its supply chain out of China, following Covid lockdowns and worker protests at its Zhengzhou plant which delayed production.

“With the doors now open, smart investors realize that they cannot put all of their eggs in one basket,” said Tan.

“I think we will see a lot more investments in key new areas strategic to China such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence and semiconductors, because the investments that need to go into the semiconductor industry is necessarily huge,” said Tan.


ION Mobility Closes US$18.7M in Series A Funding


ION Mobility, a Singapore-based tech and automotive OEM, raised US$18.7M in Series A funding.

Backers included TVS Motor Company, AC Ventures Malaysia, Michael Sampoerna, Ng Ho Sen, and existing investors such as TNB Aura, Quest Ventures, Monk’s Hill Ventures, Village Global, GDP Venture and Seeds Capital.

The company intends to use the funds to invest the capital into Indonesia to grow its local team, operations and capabilities. This includes its sales and marketing presence, local supply chain networks, production tooling and manufacturing capabilities in Indonesia.


Indian two-wheeler maker TVS joins US$18.7M Series A round of ION Mobility


Singapore-based smart electric motorbike company ION Mobility has secured US$18.7 million in its Series A round of financing from investors, including India’s leading two-wheeler maker TVS Motors.

Other investors are AC Ventures Malaysia, Michael Sampoerna, and ION’s CMO Ng Ho Sen. Existing investors TNB Aura, Quest Ventures, Monk’s Hill Ventures, Village Global, GDP Venture, and Seeds Capital also joined.

The plan is to convert the 200-plus million motorcycle users from petrol to electric to drive a sustainable future in Southeast Asia.

In October 2021, ION completed its US$6.8 million seed financing, co-led by Quest Ventures and TNB Aura.


SG-based ION Mobility secures strategic investment from India’s TVS Motor


ION Mobility, a Singapore-based EV startup that produces smart electric bikes and energy storage solutions, has secured a strategic investment from the Indian automobile major TVS Motor.

The strategic investment is part of ION Mobility’s $18.7-million Series A funding round. AC Ventures Malaysia, Michael Sampoerna, and ION Mobility chief manufacturing officer Ng Ho Sen, with existing investors TNB Aura, Quest Ventures, Monk’s Hill Ventures, Village Global, GDP Venture and Seeds Capital have participated in the round.

The new funding round brings the total capital raised by the company to over $25.5 million since 2020.


Balancing revenue, impact remains the top challenges faced by social impact startups


The theme of social impact is taking over the centre stage in the Southeast Asian (SEA) tech startup ecosystem this year, with social enterprises being in the spotlight, but challenges remain for companies that are working in the sector.

Quest Ventures shares its insights on the biggest challenges faced by startups in the social impact sector.

“Startups will face the challenge of balancing impact creation and business growth, aligning expectations of stakeholders and business partners, and getting their investors to better understand how impact can translate into enterprise value,” says James Tan, Managing Partner at Quest Ventures.

“With sustainability coming into focus in these few years, the challenge may be slowly mitigating, but investors should put teeth in their commitment to sustainability and impact by actually investing in and supporting the growth of impact-driven startups … Together with our local and international partners in the startup investment ecosystems and social sectors, we are able to support the startups in expanding beyond the local market and pulling together resources to replicate and scale.”

Alfie Othman, CEO of Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise, raiSE, explains the challenges that social impact companies are facing: “According to a study on The State of Social Enterprise in Singapore that raiSE conducted in partnership with the British Council in 2021, the top three challenges faced by social enterprises are customer acquisition and market development, access to financial support, and building internal capabilities.”

“We continue to partner with Quest Ventures to provide promising, socially impactful startups with the support they need to improve their competencies and access regional and global markets for the second cohort of the accelerator this year. The Sustainable Impact Accelerator’s first cohort has proven successful – with companies pitching to over 2,000 investors, corporates, and government organisations within the programme’s first three months. We are always heartened to see participants benefit from the programme, whether it be scaling their business, growing their impact, or gaining footholds in new markets,” says Othman.


Vistra helps Asia-focused venture capital firm Quest Ventures take advantage of the Singapore VCC


Quest Ventures wanted to use the Singapore Variable Capital Company (VCC) structure to get their investor-led funds to market at speed. Vistra supported Quest Ventures with a full suite of end-to-end fund setup and administration solutions, allowing them to focus on their core business.

“We had an ambitious target of launching multiple funds with different strategies across the Asia-Pacific region. From the outset, the Vistra team was responsive and flexible and fast became our trusted partner. Critically, they provide us with a full range of solutions that mean we can focus on our core business of looking for investment opportunities”, says James Tan, Founder and Managing Partner, Quest Ventures.


Startup Wire | Three Feet High and Rising


Quest Ventures is calling for startups focused on making a sustainable impact to apply for the second cohort of their Sustainable Impact Accelerator (SIA) in partnership with raiSE. James Tan, managing partner of Quest Ventures, said, “Socially impactful enterprises can also scale like high-growth startups, unlocking capital and resources to impact more people regionally and globally. Building upon the success of the first cohort, we look forward to partnering with raiSE again to propel high-potential impact businesses forward in their journey.”


raiSE and Quest Ventures launches second cohort of the Sustainable Impact Accelerator

The Edge

This accelerator, organised by the Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise, raiSE and Quest Ventures, a venture capital firm in Asia, aims to support budding impactful startups by providing financial and non-financial support to help them improve their competencies and gain access to regional and global markets.

Since launching in 2022, companies from the first cohort of the Sustainable Impact Accelerator have collectively pitched to over 2,000 investors, corporates, government organisations, and other stakeholders across Asia within the first three months of the programme. Some companies have also successfully raised their next funding round within a few months and gained a foothold in overseas markets such as Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

James Tan, Managing Partner of Quest Ventures, said, “Socially impactful enterprises can also scale like high-growth startups, unlocking capital and resources to impact more people regionally and globally. Building upon the success of the first cohort, we look forward to partnering with raiSE again to propel high-potential impact businesses forward in their journey.”


‘Ugly’ food gaining acceptance in Singapore but more education needed, businesses say

Channel NewsAsia

Treatsure’s Mr Wong said that investors’ understanding of the potential of food waste companies still appears to trail behind in Asia compared with the West.

“It does seem that they’re trailing behind in … that understanding of the potential impact if a company could scale similarly in terms of what our peers in Europe have done.”

He pointed to other tech platforms aimed at reducing food waste in Europe and North America, such as Copenhagen-based Too Good to Go and London-based Olio.

“It’s still quite a niche and selective group that we’re talking about,” Mr Wong said of Asia’s investors in food waste companies.

But he also pointed out that there were “encouraging signs”. Last year, venture capital firm Quest Ventures came on board as an investor with Treatsure.

“There are investors who are looking at this opportunity, because food waste is quite a significant opportunity. It’s just (a matter of) the model in which the business operates,” he said.


2023  |  2022  |  2021  |  2020  |  2019  |  2018  |  2017  |  2016  |  2015  |  2014  |  2013  |  2012  |  2011

For press enquiries, please contact [email protected].

Brand assets available here.